MyCityByNight explores the upcoming Sonar Off-Week


First timers to Sonar often wonder: “what exactly is off-week?” There is a way to answer this question in a simple and straightforward manner. But first – and at the risk of losing my readers to Google – I would like to employ an extended metaphor, because it is this which enables us to escape the cliche’ of reality, according to Wallace Stevens.

So, for those who haven’t googled “off-week” yet, here’s your metaphor:

Electronic music is the solar system. Sonar Barcelona is the sun, around which all of the smaller planets orbit. The smaller planets are off-week.

Thanks for bearing with me. In case it wasn’t obvious, off-week refers to a series of events that occur in the week prior to the official Sonar Event. These satellite events – and yes, I’m milking the metaphor for all that it’s worth – are run by private labels and organizations, with the events occurring independently of Sonar. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the artists who play off-week are in any way subsidiary.

Sonar’s gravity is such that the entire world of electronic music seems to be aware, that in the week preceding the official event, the city will be swimming with all of the predominant role-players that make up the solar system – er, electronic music scene. In June each year, the city is saturated with fans, artists and industry professionals.  This provides labels and event organizers with a fertile opportunity to showcase themselves to the global electronic community.

Below, I have hand-picked three of more appealing off-week parties, which you may want to consider checking out if you happen to be in the area.

  1. Saturn: Afterlife Barcelona

This party takes place on 15 June, and features Stephan Bodzin, Tale of Us, Mano Le Tough, Floating Points and Monoloc.

  1. Jupiter: Dynamic Outdoor.

This event takes place on 16 June, featuring Solomun, Adriatique, Kollektive Turmstrasse and Karmon.

  1. Uranus: Circoloco Barcelona

This event also takes place on 16 June, featuring the Martinez Brothers, Jackmaster, DAvide Squillace and Rampa.

And trust me, these three events barely scratch the surface of what’s on offer during this week.

You may be wondering – as am I – how it is actually possible to appreciate and enjoy such a high quantity of artistic brilliance within the space of seven days. I mean, neurochemically speaking, after seeing Stephan Bodzin, Floating Points and Monoloc on a single night, you would have had so much dopamine firing that you would be depleted for the rest of the week; theoretically speaking at least. Dopamine is the neurochemical that accompanies or triggers the spine-tingling chills that one feels when listening to a touching track. Dopamine depletion would imply that the following day, when you are due to watch Moderat, Jon Hopkins and Nina Kraviz at the official Sonar event, you shouldn’t be able to get as many spine-tingles if you would have if experiencing the event on your first night out. One will need to employ some real planning and prioritization, it would seem.

Anyway, if you have any other suggestions for how to tackle this seemingly insurmountable first-world problem, please do post below.

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